Sunday, October 23, 2011

Traditional Dancers and Musicians from Numfor island of West Papua

I have just reviewed the photographs that I made in the past about my trip in Numfor island. I find some that look interesting.  The first one is the Papuan musicians who play their instruments to accompany the dancers. The second picture shows how the Papuan boys and girls were performing their traditional dance called Yospan. I made these pictures using Sony Cybershot DSC-W310, a pocket camera that tourists like to bring while traveling in foreign countries. This performance can be seen by tourists upon special arrangement with local dance club in Numfor island. The cost of one hour show is Rp. 500,000. Besides watching the traditional dance, tourists who go to Numfor island can enjoy swimming at many of the island's white sandy beaches and snorkeling over the coral reef that thrive around the island.
Flying from Manokwari city to Numfor island takes around 20 minutes. The passenger airplane operated by Susi air that takes you to this tropical island will land on a small airport in Yemburwo village. The price of the ticket is Rp. 260,000 not including the airport tax (Rp. 11,000), and the cost of transportation to airport which is Rp. 100,000. It is quite cheap if you compare to the rupiah - US dollars exchange rate that is around Rp. 8,600 for 1 US dollars. However, the cheapest way to go to Numfor is by ferry boat. You will have the chance to chat with local people, see their daily activities selling and buying fish and vegetables at Numfor harbor or even watching dolphins in the middle of the blue sea of Geelvink bay.
Numfor has been a favorite destination for tourists who are interested in bird watching. If you plan to make some birdwatching trips inside the tropical rainforest of the island, you need to bring a good telephoto digital camera. I recommend Nikon Coolpix P500, Canon Powershot SX30 IS or SX40 Is and Panasonic Lumix FZ100 and FZ150. Bringing digiscoping system devices and binoculars will make your birding trips more enjoyful because you can see such birds as kingfisher, dove, cockatoo, and lorry in close up look and with greater details. Fishermen catching fish along the shore of the island is also a nice attraction and worth watching.
While in Numfor, you can stay at a small "hotel"  called Losmen Indaismurem. The rate per person per night is Rp. 75,000. Before flying to Numfor island, you need to get a "surat jalan" or travel permit from the local police station in Manokwari city. Bring photocopy of your passport, visa and 2 pieces of face photographs. Numfor is a small tropical island located between Manokwari and Biak of West Papua.
If you need an interpreter to help you communicate with local people and guide you along your trip both in Manokwari and Numfor island, you can hire me. Please, contact me via my email peace4wp@gmail.com
Related posts:
Birdwatching in the tropical rainforest of Numfor island
Traveling to Numfor island and snorkeling in Manem islet
Mangrove forest in Numfor island
Tropical rainforest of Numfor island

Friday, October 21, 2011

Beautiful Fruit Dove from the rainforest of Manokwari

The lowland rainforest in Inggramui is a must see destination for anybody who is interested in bird watching. It is a three hour walk from Inggramui village in the sub-urban area of Manokwari city. When I guided Thomas and her daughter Sandra (two tourists from the Netherlands) to this forest area from 16 to 19 October 2011, we had a chance of seeing a dove from very close distance. I even held it in my hands. A trap made by Papuan hunters near a fruit tree had caught it. When the hunters told us that they had just got this dove, we had just returned to Camp 1 after walking for a few hours from Camp 2 that was located deep in the jungle of the north coast region of Manokwari.
I immediately called Sandra if she was interested in taking some pictures of this beautiful bird. She came with her Nikon D4 - a small D-SLR camera that was light - suitable for travelers who like walking in the jungle and do not want to carry heavy photographic devices. I shot the bird using my Nikon Coolpix P500.
During our tours in the rainforest of Arfak mountains and the North Coast of Manokwari, I brought with me a copy of Birds of New Guinea - a very good book written by Beehler and Zimmerman. We opened the book and got some information about this fruit dove. Its name was "Beautiful Fruit Dove." In Latin, it was called Ptilinopus pulchellus. The bird had pink cap on her head. Sandra released the bird at a river near our Camp. Fruit doves, birds of paradise, cockatoos, hornbills and various other birds in this mountain range help trees by dispersing their seeds thus expanding their growth coverage area in the rainforest.
The eco-tour to rainforest of Inggramui village in Manokwari that I am now promoting will help provide alternative jobs to hunters that are more friendly to the environment. If more tourists visit this rainforest, we can effectively preserve this precious environment and raise the awareness of the Papuan people that they can still survive in this modern world without having to irresponsibly exploit the wood from their rainforest or catch wild animals for trading.
Recommended Bird Watching Destinations in Manokwari
In addition to the rainforest of Inggramui, other wildlife watching destinations that I recommend to tourists are District Senopi, lowland rainforest of Arfak mountains and Numfor island.
Optical Devices that you need for bird watching
If you want to travel to Manokwari for watching birds, don't forget to bring binoculars, telephoto camera or if possible a powerful digiscoping device. Also prepare some plastic sheets or bags to cover your equipment during rainy days.
Cost of Hiking in the Rainforest of Inggramui
In general, for 1 week tour in the lowland rainforest of Inggramui, you may spend between 500 to 700 US dollars. It includes the payments for transportation, accommodation, food, porters and guide or interpreter. If you travel with one or some friends, you can share the cost.
Why rainforest in Inggramui is highly recommended for birding
I can say that when you travel to the rainforest of Inggramui, you will see a lot of birds that are endemic to New Guinea island - the largest tropical island in the world. I have been trying to convert local hunters to become wildlife guide. Since they are expert in catching animals, they can still set up traps to catch the animals but after shooting them with digital cameras and making scientific identification of the wild animals, tourists can have them released to their natural habitat again. We all know that tropical rainforest is a very important ecosystem that effectively absorbs CO2 gases that we emit every day. Thus the preservation of the rainforest through eco-tour program that I am now promoting in Manokwari regency of West Papua will give positive contribution in fighting global warming. Because this eco-tourism program heavily depends on the visitation of tourists, anyone who is willing to visit our rainforest and gives some financial contribution to the creation of jobs for these hunters will always be welcomed. For further information about traveling in Manokwari, please contact me via my email: peace4wp@gmail.com.
by Charles Roring
Also read:
Converting hunters to birding and wildlife guides
Rainforest flowers in Inggramui village of Manokwari
Rainforest insects in Inggramui village of Manokwari

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rainforest flower that looks like passion fruit flower in lowland of Manokwari

I saw a flower in an open area near the lowland rainforest of Manokwari that looks like passion fruit flower this morning. I was guiding 4 polish tourists who wanted to spend three days camping in the middle of the lowland rainforest of Arfak mountains. This beautiful flower was blooming out of its vine that grows on the green grass. I still do not know the species name of this flower but I strongly believe that it is still related to passion fruit. Both of them are vines. Even though they - perhaps - from the same family, this rainforest flower is five times smaller than the passion fruit flower.
I turned on my bridge camera - Nikon Coolpix P500 to shoot the flower. To create crisp details of its leaves, and petals, I pressed its macro button to activate it. From very close distance, I shot the flower. I was glad to see that this super zoom camera could also be used for macro photography. Tropical flowers and insects such as butterflies are inseparable components of rainforest ecosystem. They depend on each other. Insects need flowers for their nectar whereas flowers need insects for pollination. Upon closer inspection on this flower, I found out that it was not a butterfly that did the pollination but ants. The fruit from this vine is small. When it is ripe, its taste is a combination of sweet and sour. In Manokwari, we call it "buah putri" or "fruit of princess." Children like to eat the buah putri because of the taste. The vine of this plant is a common vegetation in areas whose trees have just been cut. by Charles Roring
Also read: Rainforest Flower from Passion Fruit

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Traveling with 4 Polish Tourists in Mansinam and Lemon

Mansinam is still an attractive destination for tourists. This tiny tropical island in the Dorey bay of Manokwari is covered with tropical rainforest. Its southern coast where coral reefs thrive is a nice place for snorkeling. I went to Mansinam and Lemon islands several days ago. While in Mansinam island, we had the opportunity to see cassowary bird, and pigeon. After that we had coconuts as our lunch.
In Lemon island, an old Papuan man named Om Jordan has got a wooden house that can be used by travelers. Posters of famous football clubs in Europe decorate the walls of his cottage. Tourists can sleep here if they want to enjoy the relax and quiet atmosphere of the island. It is not difficult to visit the islands. Just go to Ketapang boat station located in Kwawi area and wait for a water taxi there.
If you are more interested in traveling around the interior region of West Papua to see birds of paradise, insects, and other wild animals, you can go to Senopi village. It's Aiwatar hill is a world class birding destination. Don't forget to bring a good telephoto camera with its extra batteries. by Charles Roring

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rainforest Insects in Inggramui village of Manokwari

When hiking through the jungle of Inggramui village, I saw beetles, butterflies, grasshoppers, and various other rainforest insects near the bank of a river. They have got unique colors. One of them is a beetle whose skin consists of black, yellow and striped red colors.
 According to some experts, insects whose colors are bright are usually poisonous. I personally do not know whether the above beetle is poisonous or not. Insects are nice subjects in photography. I shot this beetle using the macro feature of my pocket camera Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT3. by Charles Roring

Rainforest flowers in Inggramui village of Manokwari

Tropical rainforest in New Guinea is home for various species of flowers that have got beautiful forms and colors. For example an orange flower that I saw while hiking with 2 Dutch tourists last August 2011 in the jungle of Inggramui village. This tropical rainforest flower is unique because it looks like a flame that is burning from a torch. Unfortunately, I don't know the name of this species both in English or Latin. If you know it, please contact me.
I shot it using my pocket camera - Panasonic Lumix DMC FT3. It is an ideal photographic equipment for someone like me who likes traveling in the rainforest. Its waterproof construction is useful when I want to take pictures of subjects in environment that is wet or whose humidity is very high. Besides this orange flower, I also saw some beautiful white flowers that bloom out from hanging vines near a river. They are so beautiful and fragrant. I believe that these fragrant flowers can be cultivated for making perfume or other cosmetic products.
Post Update on 6 May 2012:
A girl from Surrey, Georgina Darroch, sent me an email last week and told me that the above flowers could be the Faradaya splendida (commonly known as the Glory Vine) or something similar to it. Because this flower plant grows near the river, I conclude that it needs plenty of water to survive. I also did type the Latin name plant which she gave me in Google to verify its name. The results showed that this flower plant looks the same as the one described as faradaya splendida. I am quite happy with the success of this identification effort. Thank you Georgie :)
In addition to orange and white flowers, I also saw purple flowers in the forest. They were much smaller than the white flowers but they were beautiful. Butterfly and bee like to come to these flowers for harvesting their nectar. These rainforest insects help the pollination process of the flowers before they produce fruits and seeds that are important for the regeneration of most of the plants in the forest. Birds will eat the fruits and drop the seeds around the forest. This is a beautiful thing that we can learn from the complex ecosystem of the tropical rainforest. Therefore, we have to preserve this precious environment. There are a lot of things that we can see and study inside a tropical rainforest.

Because this kind of flower can only grow in the tropical rainforest, taking its seeds or roots and planting them in environments that are dry and cold will not be successful. As a tourist guide in Manokwari, I provide tours to travelers who want to go hiking and camping inside tropical rainforest of West Papua. If you are interested, you can contact me via my email peace4wp@gmail.com
Also read:
Flowers from the rainforest of Arfak mountains

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